These cilantro lime chicken thighs are juicy and full of flavor, perfect for a weeknight dinner when paired with some rice and vegetables. The chicken is so tender it falls right off the bone and the skin gets perfectly crispy and browned. If you are looking for the perfect go-to chicken thigh recipe, it looks like you’ve found it!
Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
The ingredients for these cilantro lime chicken thighs are pretty basic. Make sure you are all stocked up before making the recipe:
- Chicken thighs: I used skin-on because I like how crispy it gets, but if you prefer a lower fat option, skin off still works great for this recipe.
- Cilantro: chopped into small pieces, the smaller the better (in my opinion).
- Olive oil: you can also use avocado or canola oil, but I personally prefer the taste of olive oil and it works better in the marinade.
- Lime juice: squeezed from fresh limes (ideally).
- Minced garlic: I just used the jarred kind, but freshly cut garlic would absolutely work fine for this recipe, I’m just too lazy.
- Chili powder: Adds a nice “kick” to the recipe and enhances the flavor of the marinade.
- Cumin: I love the flavor and cumin and think it pairs very nicely with the rest of the ingredients, but this is optional if you dislike the taste.
- Salt and pepper: to taste, whatever your heart desires!
If you desire, you can choose chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. I just like thighs because they are much juicer and flavorful compared to breasts.
How to make Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
In a medium bowl, combine the cilantro, two tablespoons of olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper. Whisk together. Add chicken thighs, try to submerge all of them in the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the chicken thighs out of the refrigerator and place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil and once hot, place the chicken thighs in the skillet, skin side down. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken in the skillet.
After the skin side is nicely browned and crispy, flip over. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, transfer to a baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a plate. Serve alongside rice and a vegetable side dish of choice. Enjoy!
Which is healthier, chicken thighs or breasts?
Typically chicken breasts are going to be a better option since they are lower in fat and higher in protein compared to chicken thighs. That being said, the difference between chicken thighs and breasts isn’t huge and chicken thighs can absolutely still fit into a healthy and balanced diet.
To put this into perspective, three ounces of chicken breast contains about 150 calories, 4 grams of fat (1 gram of saturated fat) and 26 grams of protein. Three ounces of skinless chicken thighs contain the same amount of calories, about 5 grams of fat (1.5 grams of saturated fat) and 24 grams of protein.
If you keep the skin on, three ounces of chicken thighs contain around 200 calories, 11 grams of fat (3 grams of saturated fat) and 24 grams of protein. So, it’s best to remove the skin before cooking if you want a lower fat and lower calorie chicken option.
- Peanut-Free Chicken Satay with Rice
- Trader Joe’s Peri Peri Chicken Thighs
- Oven Baked Greek Chicken Skewers
- Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken
- Quick and Easy Chicken Breasts in the Air Fryer
Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
- 1 lb chicken thighs 4 thighs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combined olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper. Whisk together.
- Add chicken thighs and massage the marinade into the skin. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven for 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Place thighs skin side down until browned and crispy. Flip over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from the oven and serve with rice and vegetables.